Off-Page SEO

Link Bursts

Shahid Maqbool

By Shahid Maqbool
On Jul 4, 2023

Link Bursts

What are Link Bursts?

In SEO, a "link burst" refers to a sudden increase in the number of backlinks that a website receives within a short period of time. 

This can happen naturally if a website publishes high-quality content that attracts a lot of attention and links from other sites, or it can be artificially created through manipulative tactics such as link buying or spamming.

While link bursts can provide a short-term boost to a website's search engine rankings, they can also raise red flags with search engines if they appear to be unnatural.

This can result in penalties or even de-indexing of the website, which can have a severe impact on its visibility and traffic.

Bad effects of link bursts

As long as your site is having a natural link burst, it's great for your site. However, artificial link bursts can have several negative effects on a website's SEO and overall online presence. 

Here are some of the potential risks associated with artificial link bursts:


Search engines like Google have algorithms that are designed to detect manipulative link-building tactics such as link bursts.

If a website is found to have engaged in such practices, it may be penalized, which can result in a significant drop in its search engine rankings.

Suspicion of spamming

Link bursts can make search engines suspicious of the quality and authenticity of the links. If the links are not natural and appear to be spammy, the website may be flagged for spamming.

Short-term gains

Link bursts may provide a short-term boost to a website's search engine rankings, but the effects are likely to be temporary.

Once the search engines detect the manipulation, the website's rankings will drop, resulting in a loss of traffic and visibility.

Damage to reputation

Link bursts can damage a website's reputation, making it appear untrustworthy to both search engines and users.

This can have long-lasting effects on the website's ability to attract traffic and generate leads or revenue.

Wasted resources

Building links through link bursts can be a waste of time, money, and other resources, especially if the links are ultimately removed or deemed invalid by search engines.

No referral traffic

Another potential negative effect of link bursts is that they may not result in any referral traffic to the website.

If the links are low-quality or irrelevant, users may not be interested in clicking on them, which means that the website will not receive any traffic from them.

This can be especially frustrating if the link bursts were created with the goal of driving traffic to the website.

How to fix a link burst?

If a website has engaged in a link burst and has been penalized or experienced negative effects as a result, there are several steps that can be taken to fix the issue:

Remove any low-quality or irrelevant links

If the website has built links that are low-quality, irrelevant, or spammy, it's important to remove them.

This can involve reaching out to the website owners and asking them to remove the links, or using a tool like Google's disavow tool to disregard these unfavourable links.

Focus on high-quality, natural link building

To recover from a link burst, it's important to shift the focus to building high-quality, natural links over time. 

This can involve creating high-quality content that is likely to attract links from other websites, reaching out to relevant websites and asking them to link to the website's content, and participating in industry events or forums where links can be naturally obtained.

Wait it out

If the website has been penalized by search engines as a result of the link burst, it may take some time for the penalty to be lifted.

In this case, it's important to continue building high-quality, natural links and following best practices for SEO.

Work with an SEO expert

If the website is experiencing significant negative effects as a result of the link burst, it may be helpful to work with an SEO expert who can help identify and fix the issues and provide guidance on how to build high-quality, natural links over time.

Tools to identify unusual activity in backlink

There are several tools available that can help identify link bursts and other unusual spikes in a website's backlink profile. 

Here are some popular options:


Ahrefs offers an extensive backlink database and the ability to review your site's backlink profile with ease.

This includes the quality of those backlinks and where they originate. A sudden influx of links from low-quality or unrelated websites might be a sign of a link burst. 

Ahrefs' user-friendly interface and robust feature set, including the ability to track your site's rank on various keywords, make it a favourite among SEO professionals.

It also provides alerts whenever it detects new backlinks to your site, enabling you to keep an eye on unusual spikes in your backlink profile.


Moz Pro offers a suite of tools, including Link Explorer, which allows users to explore both their site's backlinks and the links of competitors.

It offers spam scores for backlinks, giving you insights into which links might be harmful. This helps detect unusual link patterns that might be a product of a negative SEO attack.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free tool offered by Google, essential for anyone managing a website.

GSC provides data about your site's performance in Google Search, including your backlink profile.

It helps you understand which sites are linking to yours, what resources they link to, and the text they're using to link.

Although it might not be as comprehensive as Ahrefs or Moz in backlink analysis, it provides first-hand data from Google, which is invaluable for identifying and reacting to sudden, suspicious changes in your backlink profile.

  • Majestic

Majestic is a tool that specializes in backlinks. It has a vast index of URLs making it one of the most comprehensive backlink checkers.

It uses a variety of metrics to measure the quality of a website's backlinks, including Trust Flow and Citation Flow.

Trust Flow evaluates the quality of links pointing to your site, while Citation Flow estimates the number of links.

This data can help you pinpoint unusual link bursts and evaluate their potential impact on your site's SEO health.


Link bursts can have both positive and negative effects on a website's search engine performance.

While they can lead to short-term boosts in rankings and traffic, they can also result in penalties or other negative consequences if the links are low-quality, irrelevant, or manipulative.

To avoid these negative consequences, it's important to focus on building high-quality, natural links over time, and to avoid manipulative link-building tactics.

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